We have travelled far and wide to show the kids our great state (and fill their souvenir coin wallet), but I’ll admit we usually camp in regional towns despite the FWD and off-road camper trailer. Hard-core four wheel drivers wouldn’t even consider us real campers, but I’m not too proud to admit I like to stay in caravan parks for their hot showers.
One of the few times I abandoned my rule was a long weekend at Sandy Cape near Lancelin. I came home with a souvenir of a different kind – the dreaded tick. Now whenever my husband buys a piece of camping equipment that screams self-sufficiency, I remind him of my scrape with the sandy scavenger.
The iconic inland gorges and coastal cliffs make Kalbarri a must visit spot. There is plenty of wildlife, wildflowers, incredible views and sunsets. Take a trip along the boardwalks and lookouts to see the Natural Bridge, Island Rock and Red Bluff. The kids loved watching the pelican feeding each morning and a beach fishing competition during the school holidays.
Stayed at Murchison River Caravan Park
2. Monkey Mia
For more than 50 years’ bottlenose dolphins have been visiting the Shark Bay World Heritage Area for a morning feed of fish. We did a boat cruise for turtle, dolphin and dugong spotting and a look at the pearl farm. It was well worth the drive out to the Francois Peron National Park to explore the beautiful landscape and interesting pastoral history of the area.
Stayed at Blue Dolphin Caravan Park Denham
3. Mt Augustus
When we heard WA had a rock bigger than Uluru, we had to visit. The rock is located almost 5000 km NE of Carnarvon. The winter nights were cold but it was worth getting up early to see the first rays of sun hit the rock. There is a 49 km Loop Drive around Mt Augustus to see it from all angles or, if you prefer, walk trails.
Stayed at Mt Augustus Caravan Park
4. Karijini National Park
Within walking distance of the campsite, Joffre Gorge was our introduction to the rugged park’s ancient geological formations. With the afternoon sun shining on the richly coloured gorge walls, we were instantly captivated with the park.
During our four-day stay, we also visited Weano, Hancock, Kalamina and Dales Gorges, Fortescue Falls and Oxer Lookout and none disappointed. It was winter so we only swam at Circular Pool and waded through the water at Hancock Gorge but stayed dry at the other gorges. On cloudless nights the starry sky was just as spectacular as the daytime scenery.
Stayed at Karijini Eco Retreat
There’s so much to do in Albany; from a visit to Whale World to the Brig Amity ship and statues to climb, strawberry picking, whale watching tours, museums and the newly opened, National Anzac Centre.
Stayed at Kalgan River Chalets & Caravan Park
The turquoise waters and white sand beaches are some of the best you will see in Australia. A drive out to Cape Le Grand National Park is well worth the visit for the stunning beaches, bays and Whistling Rock.
Stayed at Pine Grove Holiday Park Esperance
The trip home from Esperance was broken up with an overnight stay at Hyden. Wave Rock is one impressive piece of stone and well worth the stop, particularly if you’re a keen photographer. There are walking trails from the caravan park around Wave Rock and Hippos Yawn.
Stayed at Wave Rock Caravan Park
We’ve made many visits to the south-west and love visiting the Busselton/Dunsborough area. In summer the Geographe Bay beaches are perfect for swimming and kayaking. We also visit the caves, galleries, Xcape at the Cape water park, golf, playgrounds and of course the wineries and breweries.
Stayed at Four Seasons Holiday Park & Camp Grace
I spent most childhood holidays camped on the banks of the Blackwood River. It’s quite possibly the windiest spot in WA, but when the wind drops and the sun is out, it’s a magic place. There’s plenty to explore in the area including whale watching, fishing, giant stingrays, the Cape Naturalist Lighthouse and lookouts along the rugged coastline.
Stayed at Turner Caravan Park
There is something of interest for everyone in Kalgoorlie. We visited the Super Pit twice to see the gold mine operating day and night. There are plenty of museums showcasing the town’s history. We made a few day trips to see the sculptures on Lake Ballard via Menzies and visited Coolgardie. There is plenty of wildlife spotting in the area and a game of golf on the magnificent course rounded out our trip.
Stayed at Discovery Parks – Boulder
If you want to enjoy low-cost family holiday adventures, check out the book, Camping in Style your Complete Guide to Holidaying Well in a Tent
Pick up a copy of the Karijini National Park Topographic Map if you are planning a trip to visit the gorges.